Sheesh! Talk about timing. Just a few days after Midtown Lunch posted his slam on UMAMIcatessen in his 7 Reasons to Hate L.A. column, the LAT redeems the food hall/deli/cafeteria/thingie-mabbober with a glowing review. Brooks contended that there's really no reason on earth to bother serving pastrami sandwiches within a 5 mile radius of Langer’s. But thankfully for Adam Fleischman, salvation came in the form of this weekend's Counter Intelligence column.
Says the J Gold: "The sandwich itself, designed by Micah Wexler of Mezze, the swank Middle Eastern restaurant on La Cienega's Restaurant Row, is fairly spectacular, reimagined as a kind of steak sandwich ... I'm not saying it is the best pastrami sandwich in Los Angeles, but it is the first sandwich I have encountered in a lifetime of pastrami eating that might keep Norm Langer up at night."
When it comes to value, we have to agree with Midtown Lunch that Umami's $14 price tag seems a bit steep considering how puny the sandwich is compared to Langer's hefty pile of pastrami. But, as Gold points out, there are other great things on UMAMIcatessen's menu: tres leches donuts, jamon iberico crudo, and bacon old fashioneds, to name a few.
The second LAT review of the week came from SIV. She shared some of her favorite highfalutin' lunch spots, including Valentino, Terra Sur, and Providence -- all of which are lovely if you're dining on an expense account. If you're on any sort of budget -- like 99% of Americans are these days -- it might be best to stick with Midtown Lunch's recs.